Decade Ending With a Blue Moon

December 31, 2009

On the final day of the decade, the dollar has fittingly faded, losing 0.8% against the Canadian dollar, 0.7% each against sterling, the Aussie dollar, New Zealand dollar and Swiss franc, and 0.5% relative to the euro.  Market sentiment had turned pro-dollar lately.  The yen is also comparatively soft, edging just 0.1% higher against the greenback. Many centers were closed, including Japan and Germany.  Most other will experience abbreviated sessions.

How weird is this?  The year and decade are ending with the first “blue moon” since June 2007, plus a partial eclipse of the moon in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Stocks rose 1.8% in Hong Kong, 0.9% in Taiwan, 0.8% in Australia, 0.7% in India, and 0.6% in Singapore.  The Ftse and Paris Cac have edged up 0.1% and 0.2%.

Gold rallied 1.1% to $1104.70 per ounce, up 25.2% from end-2008.  Oil advanced 0.6% to $79.79 per barrel, 79% greater than a year ago and 125% higher than in mid-January 2009.

Australian private credit firmed 0.1% and 0.8% from a year earlier in November, matching expectations.  Mortgage credit rose 0.7% on the month (8.1% on year), but credit to corporations fell by 1.0% and 8.2% from November 2008.  Australian stocks ended 2009 up 31%.

South Korean consumer prices increased 0.4% in December and accelerated to a 12-month pace of 2.8% from 2.4% in November.  The results exceeded analyst expectations.  Core inflation was 2.5% over past 12 months.

GDP growth in Vietnam slowed to 5.3% in 2009 from 6.2% in 2008 but is expected to hover near 6.5% in 2010. Singapore GDP fell 2.1% in 2009 but was 3.5% greater in the fourth quarter than in 4Q08.

South African private credit in November was 1.6% less than a year earlier.  M3 recorded on-year growth of just 0.6%, down from 2.7% in the year to October.

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou said 2010 would be a key year for terminating the world financial crisis.  Chinese President Hu predicted continuity in the supportive fiscal and monetary policies with a stress on promoting growth.

Turkey is said to be near an accord with the IMF.  Turkish industrial production rebounded 3.2% in October, cutting the 12-month decline to 1.4% from 8.7% in the year to September.  Israeli GDP rose 3.0% last quarter.

The Bank of England’s quarterly survey on credit conditions revealed somewhat easier credit availability to households than in 3Q but reduced corporate credit demand.  The Nationwide British house price index increased for an eighth straight month in December, posting a rise of 0.4% and 5.9% from end-2008.  The index has recovered 8.9% since February and shows the best on-year increase since November 2007.

Bini-Smaghi of the ECB said Euroland unemployment will continue to crest and that GDP growth will not return to pre-crisis levels.  French Finance Minster Lagarde thinks GDP may grow a little faster in the fourth quarter of 2009 than the 0.3% pace in 3Q.

Estonian industrial production fell by a smaller 13.7% in the year to November.  Economic sentiment in Lithuania worsened two points to minus 33 in December.  Romania’s budget deficit widened to 6.0% of GDP in January-November as revenues sank 6% from a year before while expenses climbed 3%.

U.S. jobless claims and the NAPM index will be reported later today.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2009.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

Tags: ,


Comments are closed.